Fiction Introduction by Timothy Brennan Translated into twenty languages and published in more than fourteen Spanish editions, The Lost Steps, originally published in 1953, is Alejo Carpentier's most heralded novel. A composer, fleeing an empty existence in New York City, takes a journey with his mistress to one of the few remaining areas of the world not yet touched by civilization-the upper reaches of a great South American river. The Lost Steps describes his search, his adventures, and the remarkable decision he makes in a village that seems to be truly outside history. "An erudite yet absorbing adventure story. . . A book full of riches-stylistic, sensory, visual." New York Times Book Review "The greatest novel to have appeared in Latin America in our time." Le Figaro Littéraire "Extraordinary." The New Yorker Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Born in Havana, he lived for many years in France and Venezuela but returned to Cuba after the 1959 revolution.